Library:How to Search CCOHS

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Caption: The CCOHS Search Page

Content in CCOHS

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) offers a number of resources on occupational health and safety and chemicals. Some of the resources that UBC subscribes to include:

  • MSDS: Material Safety Data Sheets from manufacturers and suppliers
  • CHEMINFO: Comprehensive health and safety information on pure chemicals
  • RTECS: Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances
  • Canadian enviroOSH Legislation: Access to legislation for British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Canada (Federal)
  • OSH Answers: Answers to hundreds of frequently asked health and safety questions.
  • INCHEM: Chemical publications from United Nations agencies
  • Workplace Health Promotion Resources: Access to workplace health information
  • CHEMINDEX: Chemical names, CAS Registry Numbers and Synonyms
  • WHMIS Classifications: Identifying the WHMIS hazards of common workplace chemicals
  • Fatality Reports: Information on workplace fatalities including preventive measures

How to access CCOHS

  1. Go to the information page for CCOHS at:
  2. Click on Connect Via The Web

How to conduct a basic search in CCOHS

CCOHS can be acessed from

You can either search across all the resources on CCOHS or you can search in each individual resources. Searching across all resources is quicker but searching in individual resources gives you more control. In the following examples we will be searching across all resources.

Search String Search Explanation
inspect Searches for all forms of the word "inspect" including: inspect, inspects, inspected, re-inspection, etc.
hydrogen sulfide Searches for all forms of both words
"hydrogen sulfide" Searches for the exact phrase "hydrogen sulfide"
Note: Putting a search string in "double quotations" will result in a more exact search and reduce the 
number of results you retrieve. Carefully consider if this is appropriate for your search. For example, 
are other forms of the word commonly used to describe the concept you are interested in that a more exact
search would miss? 
Caption: CCOHS Search Results

Getting more results with wildcards

Although CCOHS automatically tries to find all forms of a word you can also use wildcards in order to expand the root or suffix of a word in order to get more results. For example:

Search String Search Explanation
environment Searches for all forms of the word "environment" including "environments" etc.
carcino* Searches for all words that start with the root "carcino"
*flammable Searches for all words that end with the suffix "flammable" for example, inflammable, non-flammable
a?sorption retrieves both "absorption" and "adsorption"
Note: Use the "?" search operator is especially useful when searching for both British and American spellings of a term 

Combining search terms with AND / OR / NOT

Operator Search String Search Explanation
AND hazardous AND waste Searches for "hazardous" and "waste" together
OR headache OR nausea Searches for either "headache" or "nausea"
AND with OR (headache OR nausea) AND chlorine Searches for either "headache" or "nausea" with the term "chlorine"
NOT headache NOT nausea Searches for occurances of the term "headache" where the term "nausea" does not also appear

Marked Records

Marked records can be used to collect together results from each resource on CCOHS so you can save or print them all at once, however:

  • Marked records cannot be used to export results to bibliographic software such as Refworks, Zotoro, or Mendeley. You must record the citation manually.
  • MSDS fact sheets are PDFs and not included in the page generated in Marked Records. These files must be download/printed separately.